Swamy, Rahul Gandhi accuse each other of delaying trial: Herald case

BJP leader Subramanian Swamy and Congress president Rahul Gandhi today accused each other in a Delhi court of wasting its time and delaying the trial in the National Herald case.

Complainant Swamy and the accused, including Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi, traded charges before Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal who was hearing arguments on applications moved by the BJP MP seeking certain documents from the Congress party.

Swamy has also filed certain documents in the case and sought a direction to the Gandhis to either admit or deny whether they were original.

The BJP leader, in a private criminal complaint, has accused the Gandhis and others of conspiring to cheat and misappropriate funds by paying just Rs 50 lakh, through which Young Indian Pvt Ltd (YI) obtained the right to recover Rs 90.25 crore that Associate Journals Ltd owed to the Congress.

“They (Gandhis) had submitted various documents in the Supreme Court. Now, I am asking them to confront the documents (in this court). The accused should stop wasting the court’s time and either admit or deny these documents,” Swamy said.

The advocates appearing for the Gandhis, however, told the court that Swamy was wasting its time and delaying the trial by filing “unauthenticated documents” in the case.

“The applications filed by the complainant are not proper. The documents which the complainant wants to be confronted are neither original, nor certified. The court cannot even look at them.

“Every time when the complainant has to step into the witness box, he files a new application. Further, he wants summoning of documents but where are the witnesses who will authenticate them? We will admit or deny the original documents, not the photocopies. All these documents have been moved with the purpose to delay the trial and they must be dismissed,” the defence counsel said.

Regarding Swamy’s submissions that he had found certain documents related to the Income Tax department, lying along with newspapers at his doorstep, senior advocate Ramesh Gupta, appearing for some of the accused persons, quipped that it showed the breach in his security.

“This is the situation. He (Swamy) is a Z-plus security holder and nobody is able to protect his house. Anyone can come and throw something,” Gupta said.

Swamy has filed an application alleging that according to the documents found by him, the I-T department had launched a probe against the accused, also involving YI, after taking note of his complaint in the case. The Gandhis are major stakeholders in YI.

The court later posted the matter for further hearing on May 14.

All the seven accused – the Gandhis, Motilal Vora (AICC treasurer), Oscar Fernandes (AICC general secretary), Suman Dubey, Sam Pitroda and YI – have denied the allegations levelled against them in the case.

The court had summoned the accused persons, besides YI, on June 26, 2014.

On December 19, 2015, it had granted bail to Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Vora, Fernandes and Dubey, who had appeared before it pursuant to the summonses.

Pitroda was granted bail on February 20, 2016 when he had appeared in the court.

Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Vora, Fernandes, Dubey and Pitroda were summoned for the alleged offences of misappropriation of property, criminal breach of trust and cheating, read with criminal conspiracy of the Indian Penal Code.

Herald case: Court asks Sonia, Rahul to reply on Swamy’s plea

A Delhi court today granted three weeks’ time to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, its vice president Rahul Gandhi and four others to respond on a plea of BJP leader Subramanian Swamy seeking certain documents from the party in the National Herald case.

Metropolitan Magistrate Lovleen gave time till July 22 to them after their counsel submitted that they have not received a copy of the application of Swamy, who has filed a private criminal complaint.

The court considered the plea of the Congress leaders and directed Swamy to hand them over a copy of the application.

Swamy, in his complaint, has accused the Gandhis and others of conspiring to cheat and misappropriate funds by paying just Rs 50 lakh through which the Young Indian Pvt Ltd (YI) obtained the right to recover Rs 90.25 crore that the Associate Journals Limited (AJL) owed to the Congress.

The Gandhis and the other accused — AICC members Motilal Vora and Oscar Fernandes and Suman Dubey and Sam Pitroda — have denied the allegations levelled against them.

Swamy has sought documents from the AJL including a copy of the bank statement filed with the registrar of companies (ROC), the minutes of the meeting in which decision to convert the loan into share capital was taken, the balance sheet, the profit and loss account with the auditor’s report in the year in which the loan was granted.

The documents sought from the Congress party include the minutes of the meeting of the Congress Working Committee authorising the loan waiver from the AJL to the YI and a copy of the loan agreement between the Congress and the AJL.

The court had summoned the accused persons, besides the YI on June 26, 2014.

On December 19, 2015, it had granted bail to Sonia, Rahul, Vora, Fernandes and Dubey, who had appeared before it pursuant to summonses. Pitroda was granted bail on February 20, 2016 when he had appeared in the court.

Sonia, Rahul, Vora (AICC treasurer), Fernandes (AICC general secretary), Dubey and Pitroda were summoned for the alleged offences of dishonest misappropriation of property, criminal breach of trust and cheating, read with criminal conspiracy of the IPC.

Herald case: Sonia, Rahul Gandhi oppose Swamy’s plea

Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Vice President Rahul Gandhi today opposed as “vague and devoid of material particulars” BJP MP Subramanian Swamy’s plea seeking summoning of witnesses in the National Herald case.
The Gandhis, who are accused in the case along with some other Congress leaders, contended that Swamy’s plea was “in the nature of a fishing and roving enquiry which is not permissible in law”.

The submissions were made in the reply filed to Swamy’s list of witnesses and other evidence given to Metropolitan Magistrate Lovleen in the case.

“The application preferred by the complainant (Swamy) is vague and devoid of material particulars and is in the nature of a fishing and roving enquiry which is not permissible in law.

“Swamy has proceeded to enlist the witnesses and enumerate a number of documents without divulging the dates or relevant period for most of the documents sought to be summoned through the said witnesses,” the written reply filed by the accused said.

The court, thereafter, listed the matter for further hearing on April 22 after Swamy sought time to go through the submissions made before arguments on the matter could begin.

The accused claimed, “Swamy, through this application, is seeking to summon witnesses and call for documents without divulging their necessity and desirability on the basis of the allegations made by him in the complaint.

“The persistent attempt on the part of the complainant to have access the documents is clearly an attempt to make out a new case which is impermissible in law,” they said.
Swamy, in his private criminal complaint, has accused the Gandhis and others of conspiring to cheat and misappropriate funds by paying just Rs 50 lakh through which Young Indian Pvt Ltd (YI) obtained the right to recover Rs 90.25 crore which Associate Journals Limited (AJL) owed to the Congress.

The Gandhis and other accused — Motilal Vora, Oscar Fernandes, Suman Dubey and Sam Pitroda — have denied the allegations levelled against them.

The court had summoned the accused persons, besides YI on June 26, 2014.
On December 19, 2015, it had granted bail to Sonia, Rahul, Vora, Fernandes and Dubey, who had appeared before it pursuant to summons. Pitroda was granted bail on February 20, 2016 when he had appeared in the court.

Herald case: Cong leaders challenge trial court order

Herald case: Cong leaders challenge trial court order
Herald case: Cong leaders challenge trial court order

Congress leaders today challenged in Delhi High Court the trial courts decision summoning the 2010-11 balance sheet of Indian National Congress (INC) in connection with the National Herald case, saying such an order was not “desirable” in the present matter.

“Neither notice was issued to us, nor we were summoned to contest the present application filed before the trial court judge on which an order was passed,” senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Sam Pitroda, told Justice P S Teji.

“It was an ex-parte order,” Sibal said, adding that the application filed by complainant BJP leader Subramanian Swamy should not have been allowed without hearing them.

The counsel further contended that the documents have “no relevancy” to this present case and the trial court judge has failed to explain in his order the “necessity or desirability” of these materials for the purposes of any “investigation”.

“He (trial court judge) has to demonstrate the relevancy or the necessity of these documents,” Sibal said, adding that “this order should be set aside”.

Congresss Motilal Vora, Oscar Fernandes, Suman Dubey, Sam Pitroda and Young Indian Pvt Ltd (YI) have challenged the trial courts January 11 and March 11 orders respectively in which the magistrate had allowed summoning of documents from Ministries of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Income Tax Department and other agencies in the case in which Congress President Sonia Gandhi, her son Rahul Gandhi are also accused.

The case is based on a private criminal complaint lodged by Swamy, charging them with cheating, conspiracy and criminal breach of trust.

All the accused have denied the allegations levelled against them by Swamy.

The trial court had also summoned the balance sheet of INC for 2010-2011 besides the balance sheet of 2010-2011 of Associated Journals Pvt Ltd (AJL), observing that these documents of INC and AJL could not be referred as “personal documents” of the accused.

Besides Pitroda, Vora, represented by senior advocate R S Cheema, submitted that they will suffer “prejudice” by calling of INC documents, as the party is not involved in this case.

( Source – PTI )

Herald case: Court allows Swamy’s plea to summon INC documents

Herald case: Court allows Swamy's plea to summon INC documents
Herald case: Court allows Swamy’s plea to summon INC documents

A Delhi court today allowed a plea by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy and summoned certain documents pertaining to financial details of Indian National Congress (INC) for the year 2010-2011 in the National Herald case.

Metropolitan Magistrate Lovleen partly allowed Swamy’s plea in which he had sought summoning of documents related to financial details of INC, Associated Journals Pvt Ltd (AJL) and Young Indian Pvt Ltd (YI) in connection with the case.

Besides INC’s documents for the year 2010-2011, the court also summoned AJL’s documents for the same assessment year.

“I am partly allowing your application,” the magistrate said while pronouncing the order.

Swamy had sought summoning of these documents contending that they were required for the purpose of investigation in the National Herald case.

He had referred to the court’s June 26, 2014 order summoning Congress President Sonia Gandhi, her son Rahul Gandhi, Motilal Vora, Oscar Fernandes, Suman Dubey and Sam Pitroda as accused in the case.

Swamy, the complainant in the matter, had said that sufficient grounds for summoning these documents were mentioned in June 26, 2014 order.

The court had heard his contentions on summoning the balance sheet, receipts, income and expenditure statements for the assessment years 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13 of the INC, AJL and YI.

Swamy had accused Sonia, Rahul and others of allegedly conspiring to cheat and misappropriate funds by just paying Rs 50 lakh by which YI obtained the right to recover Rs 90.25 crore which the AJL had owed to the Congress party.

On February 20, the court had directed that some documents summoned from the Ministries of Finance, Urban Development and Corporate Affairs, Income Tax Department and other agencies in the case would be kept in a sealed cover till further orders, after noting that Delhi High Court was seized of the matter.

The direction had come after the accused in the case had argued that Swamy should first satisfy the court about the relevance of the documents which were ordered to be summoned.

The court had on December 19, 2015, granted bail to Sonia, Rahul, Vora, Fernandes and Dubey, who had appeared before it pursuant to the summons issued earlier. Pitroda was granted bail on February 20 when he had appeared in the court.

Sonia, Rahul, Vora (AICC Treasurer), Fernandes (AICC General Secretary), Dubey and Pitroda were summoned for alleged offences under section 403 (dishonest misappropriation of property), 406 (criminal breach of trust) and 420 (cheating) read with section 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC.

( Source – PTI )

Herald case: Cong says Swamy has to satisfy court

Herald case: Cong says Swamy has to satisfy court
Herald case: Cong says Swamy has to satisfy court

Congress President Sonia Gandhi, her son Rahul Gandhi and other accused in the National Herald case today told a Delhi court that BJP leader Subramanian Swamy should first satisfy it about the relevance of documents which were ordered to be summoned from various ministries in the matter.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the Gandhis, told Metropolitan Magistrate Lovleen that complainant Swamy will have to show as to how these documents summoned by the court on January 11 were relevant to the case.

Sibal told the court that the order has been challenged before the high court by Motilal Vora, an accused in the case, and the high court has issued a notice to Swamy on the plea.

The lawyers representing the accused also told the court that these documents should be kept in a sealed cover till the issue is decided by the high court. Opposing the contentions, Swamy told the court that the documents, which were placed before the magistrate today, were related to Associated Journal Ltd (AJL) and they were required for the case. During the hearing, in which media was not allowed, Swamy argued that although the high court has issued a notice on Vora’s plea it had not stayed the order summoning documents from these ministries.

The magistrate, after hearing the submissions, reserved his order on the plea moved by the accused persons for 4 pm today. The court granted bail to co-accused Sam Pitroda, who appeared before it today, on a personal bond of Rs 50,000 and a surety of the like amount. The Gandhis and other three accused — Motilal Vora, Oscar Fernandes and Suman Dubey — were today granted exemption from personal appearance by the court as per the Supreme Court’s February 12 order. The magistrate has now fixed the matter for March 21 considering that the petition filed before the high court is likely to be heard on March 15.

The court had on January 11 allowed Swamy’s plea seeking summoning of documents from the Ministries of Finance, Urban Development and Corporate Affairs, Income Tax Department and other agencies in the case. The court had on December 19, 2015, granted bail to Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Motilal Vora, Oscar Fernandes and Suman Dubey, who had appeared before pursuant to the summons issued earlier.

The case is based on a private criminal complaint lodged by Swamy against them of cheating, conspiracy and criminal breach of trust. The Supreme Court had last week granted exemption to Sonia Gandhi from personal appearance in the trial court and also expunged some observations of the high court but refused to interfere with criminal proceedings before the lower court.

The apex court, while allowing the plea of Gandhis, had also said it would be open to the magistrate at any stage to seek their personal appearance, as and when required. Sonia, Rahul, Vora (AICC Treasurer), Fernandes (AICC General Secretary), Dubey and Pitroda were summoned under sections 403 (dishonest misappropriation of property), 406 (criminal breach of trust) and 420 (cheating) read with section 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC.

The trial court had on June 26, 2014 asked them to appear before it on August 7, 2014 but the order was stayed on August 6, 2014 by the Delhi High Court which on December 7, last year vacated the stay by rejecting the plea to quash the complaint and the summons. On December 15, 2014, the high court had further stayed the summons till final disposal of the petitions. Along with the Gandhis, five other accused — Suman Dubey, Moti Lal Vora, Oscar Fernandez, Sam Pitroda and Young India Ltd — had challenged the summons issued to them by trial court on Swamy’s complaint.

Sonia, Rahul get bail in Herald case

Sonia, Rahul get bail in Herald case
Sonia, Rahul get bail in Herald case

Congress President Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul today sought and got bail in the National Herald case after a local court rejected complainant Subramanian Swamy”s opposition to the relief for them on the ground they are influential and can flee the country. Amidst media hype and hoopla and tight security, Sonia and Rahul and three other accused Motilal Vora, Oscar Fernandes and Suman Dubey appeared before Metropolitan Magistrate Lovleen in the Patiala House courts complex in the heart of the capital in pursuance of the summons issued to them on Dec 8.

While former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh filed the bail bond on behalf of Sonia, her daughter Priyanka Vadra did the same for brother Rahul. The heavily secure Patiala House court saw virtually the entire Congress leadership attending the proceedings in solidarity.

The court will next hear the case on February 20.

Making a huge political statement, both Sonia and Rahul got down from their cars and walked to the court, creating a flutter among the hundreds of security personnel deployed. Hundreds of Congress workers raised slogans against the BJP and the government as they walked inside.

The relief to the top Congress leadership came at the end of a feverish Saturday, which saw the party and the BJP trade charges against each other. While the Congress alleged “vendetta” and called complainant Subramanian Swamy Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “mask”, Swamy dismissed the attack as another Congress “drama”.

In 2012, Swamy had filed the case accusing Sonia, Rahul and the others – Motilal Vora, Oscar Fernandes, Suman Dubey and Sam Pitroda – of cheating and misappropriation of funds in acquiring the ownership of now-defunct daily, National Herald.

( Source – PTI )

Herald case: Vadra confident truth will prevail

Herald case: Vadra confident truth will prevail
Herald case: Vadra confident truth will prevail

Robert Vadra today expressed confidence that truth will prevail in the National Herald case in which his mother-in-law Sonia Gandhi and brother-in-law Rahul Gandhi are accused and said the “desperate malicious attempts of defamation” will not be believed.

“My full support to my mother-in-law and brother-in-law.Politics of vendetta and desperate malicious attempts of defamation will not be believed. Truth shall prevail,” Vadra said in a Facebook post.

His comment came just before the appearance of Sonia and Rahul before a court here in connection with the National Herald case.

The Congress president and vice president have been summoned on a private criminal complaint of BJP leader Subramanian Swamy of conspiracy, cheating, breach of trust and misappropriation of property.

( Source – PTI )

Herald case: Security beefed up ahead of Sonia, Rahul’s

Herald case: Security beefed up ahead of Sonia, Rahul's
Herald case: Security beefed up ahead of Sonia, Rahul’s

Security was on Friday beefed up at the Patiala House District Court premises here ahead of the scheduled appearance of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, her son Rahul Gandhi and others on Saturday in connection with the National Herald case.

According to court sources, senior officials of the Special Protection Group (SPG), Delhi Police and Intelligence Bureau reviewed the security arrangements at the court premises where 16 more CCTV cameras were installed on Friday.

The sources said security personnel have discussed at length the arrangements to be made for Saturday as both Ms. Sonia and Mr. Rahul are SPG protectees.

The security officials have also had a meeting with the District Judge of the Patiala House courts.

The police have made elaborate security arrangements considering the fact that the court is a public place where a number of lawyers, litigants come daily.

The sources said that shops inside the premises will remain closed on Saturday and the area near gate number two of the court, where the courtroom in which the hearing is scheduled is located, will be cordoned off with deployment of a multi-layered security cover.

( Source – PTI )

Herald case:Court to hear matter against Sonia, Rahul on Dec 9

sonia-rahulA Delhi court on Thursday fixed December 9 for hearing the complaint case, in which it had issued summons against Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and others, on the issue of acquisition of National Herald daily.

Metropolitan Magistrate Gomati Manocha postponed the matter after the counsel appearing for Sonia Gandhi and others informed the court that Delhi High Court had stayed the criminal proceedings pending before the trial court till September 3.

The complaint case in the matter was filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy.

During the hearing, Swamy informed the court that he had served the summon issued against accused Sam Pitroda, who according to him is presently residing in the USA.

He also told the court that the high court had stayed the proceedings before the trial court for other accused and not for Pitroda.

“The stay is for other accused and not for Pitroda. I have served the summon to him,” he told the court.

Senior advocate Ramesh Gupta, who appeared for Sonia, Rahul and others, countered Swamy’s submissions saying the summon has to be served through the Ministry of Home Affairs.

During the hearing, the court asked Swamy, “Is there any other way to serve the summon?”.

It, however, said that it will hear the arguments on this aspect on the next date of hearing.

Swamy had earlier requested the court to hand over the summons issued against Pitroda to him so that he could serve it on him.

In a reprieve for Sonia, Rahul and others, the high court had earlier stayed the criminal proceedings pending before the trial court against them.

The Congress leaders have challenged the lower court’s summoning orders against them on a complaint of Swamy alleging cheating and misappropriation of funds in the acquisition of the daily by Young Indian(YI).

The stay from the high court had come as a relief to Sonia, Rahul and others including Congress treasurer Moti Lal Vora, General Secretary Oscar Fernandes and Suman Dubey who were summoned as accused by the trial court.

Pitroda is the only accused who, so far, has not moved the high court.

While summoning the accused in the case, the trial court had held that Swamy has established a prima facie case of cheating, misappropriation of funds and criminal breach of trust against them.

Swamy had accused Sonia and Rahul Gandhi and others of conspiring to cheat and misappropriate funds by paying just Rs 50 lakh by which YI obtained the right to recover Rs 90.25 crore which the Associated Journals Limited had owed to the Congress party.

The accused persons were summoned under sections 403 (dishonest misappropriation of property, 406 (criminal breach of trust) and 420 (cheating) read with section 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC.

(Source: PTI)